Floatgen Ready to Power France

The Floatgen floating offshore wind turbine is now ready to supply clean energy to the French electrical grid, after Mojo Maritime replaced a defective connection box at the SEM-REV test site, which was preventing an electrical connection to marine energy converters.

Mojo Maritime, a division of James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS), and the SEM-REV site operator, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, have worked non-stop for five days to fix the issue.

Ecole Centrale de Nantes installed the subsea connection hub, to which three demonstrators can connect simultaneously on the SEM-REV site, two years ago. However, final validation checks on the connection revealed an insulation defect on one of the phases of the 25km long underwater cable.

It has taken eighteen months of intensive research to pinpoint the exact location, which was done by using technologies based on electrical echometry and acoustics, implemented by teams from ENEDIS and EDF Energy.

Mojo Maritime and the site operator chartered the offshore construction vessel Ariadne for the five-day operation to get the 8MW electrical connection at SEM-REV repaired and running.

The Floatgen turbine arrived at the test site some 20 kilometres off the Croisic on 30 April, to be tested under real operating conditions for two years.

During the testing phase, the electricity produced by the wind turbine will be injected into the French electricity grid and Floatgen will be able to supply electricity to the equivalent of a city like Le Croisic.

The Floatgen system consists of a Vestas V80 wind turbine mounted on a square ring-shaped floating foundation, known as the Damping Pool, developed and patented by Ideol and built by Bouygues Travaux Publics.

The floating wind turbine project is a joint venture between Ideol, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, RSK Group, Zabala, the University of Stuttgart, and Fraunhofer IWES.

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